PORTLAND — Wesley Matthews thinks the Trail Blazers are better suited for overtime.
That made it tough on the Orlando Magic, who were handed their ninth straight loss in Portland's 125-119 overtime victory on Monday night. The Blazers have won all five of their games that have gone into extra periods this season.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Matthews finished with 24 points — including a dunk that all but sealed it with less than a minute left.
Both teams were clearly exhausted by the end.
"It's alright. We'll take it," Matthews said. "For whatever reason, this team is built for overtime. I'd rather not go into it, I'd rather win it in regulation. But we dug deep."
J.J. Hickson added 20 points and 15 rebounds for his 20th double-double this season for the Blazers, who have won three straight overall and 11 of their last 14 games. It was Portland's eighth straight win at the Rose Garden.
Nicolas Batum, who finished with 16 points and 10 assists, said Portland's OT successes are a credit to how well the players have come to know each other.
"The way we play in overtime, we stay focused. We talk," Batum said. "We just stay together."
Aldridge hit a layup and a free throw that put Portland ahead 112-108 with 3:38 in overtime. After the Magic tied it at 112 on J.J. Redick's hook shot, Blazers rookie Damian Lillard made a pull-up jumper to reclaim the lead.
Lillard added a floater to extend it and Hickson had a fast-break dunk for a 118-112 lead. Matthews punctuated the run with his dunk with 54.9 seconds left and Portland cruised the rest of the way.
Redick led the Magic with 29 points, while Arron Afflalo had 24. Nikola Vucevic had 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Orlando held a slim 97-95 lead but Matthews hit a 3-pointer that put Portland ahead and Batum padded it with his own 3 with 3:01 left in regulation.
Jameer Nelson's rainbow 3-pointer kept the pressure on the Blazers, but Batum hit another 3-pointer to make it 106-101 with 1:14 to go.
Nelson made a pair of free throws and Vucevic added a jumper to close the Magic to 106-105. After Batum hit two foul shots with 16.8 seconds left, Nelson nailed a 3-pointer with 8.9 seconds left that tied it at 108 and sent the game into overtime.
"The games we're losing, we're in all of them," Nelson said. "They're close games and hard fought but we just keep coming up short."
The Magic went up 19-12 in the first quarter after Andrew Nicholson's dunk. But Aldridge made a 7-foot jumper and Matthews added a 3-pointer to narrow it, and Aldridge's turnaround jumper tied it a 21. Victor Claver's pull-up jumper gave Portland a 25-24 lead going into the second quarter.
Aldridge had 12 points in the first quarter alone.
But the Blazers had trouble maintaining any kind of lead throughout the game. After going up 46-43 with 4:03 left in the half, Orlando's Josh McRoberts hit a 3-pointer that touched off a 14-2 Magic run. Afflalo capped it with a layup that gave Orlando a 57-48 lead at the break.
Aldridge's layup with 4:53 left in the third that gave Portland a 71-70 lead. Matthews extended it with a layup.
But again, it was short-lived. Reddick hit two straight 3-pointers to hand the Magic back the lead at 88-87 with 10:51 left in the game.
Aldridge's layup pulled Portland into a tie at 93-all with 6:52 left. Afflalo kept the Blazers at bay with a layup and Nelson added a pair of free throws for the Magic.
Aldridge said the Blazers have developed a toughness.
"We don't get rattled," he said. "We know that if we keep playing defense and we stay the course we can win some games."
Celtics 102, Knicks 96
At New York, Paul Pierce scored 23 points as Boston beat New York in a heated first meeting of the season between the Atlantic Division rivals.
Kevin Garnett added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who even without the suspended Rajon Rondo won their third straight and finally are playing like the team that has ruled the division for the last half-decade.
Bulls 118, Cavaliers 92
At Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bulls to a rout of the Cavaliers.
It was the third straight game that Boozer has eclipsed 20 points. This time he did it against the team that drafted him in 2002.
Joakim Noah added 11 points and 11 rebounds while Luol Deng had 19 points and seven assists for the Bulls, who beat the Cavaliers for an 11th straight time.
Wizards 101, Thunder 99
At Washington, Bradley Beal made a jumper with 0.3 seconds left after using a pump fake to get open, and the short-handed Wizards beat the Thunder.
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City (26-8) with 29 points.
The Wizards (5-28), playing without their top two scorers, had lost 13 of their previous 14, but they also beat the Miami Heat earlier in the season. Beal and Martell Webster led the Washington with 22 points each.
Hornets 95, Spurs 88
At New Orleans, Eric Gordon scored six straight points in a fourth quarter spurt and had 24 overall to lead the Hornets to a victory over San Antonio.
Anthony Davis added 17 points, Greivis Vasquez 14 and Ryan Anderson 13 for the Hornets, who have won two consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 2-3.
Manu Ginobili scored 21 points to lead the Spurs, who had won eight of their previous nine, dating to a 99-94 victory over the Hornets in San Antonio on Dec. 21.
Jazz 100, Mavericks 94
At Salt Lake City, Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 27 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Jazz defeated the Mavericks.
Alec Burks added a season-high 13, including eight in the fourth quarter when Utah held Dallas (13-22) to 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 20 points. He had six straight late, but also was called for a charge with 32 seconds remaining as he tried to get Dallas within two.
Grizzlies 113, Kings 81
At Sacramento, Calif., Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 26 points, hitting six 3-pointers, to help the Grizzlies rout the Kings.
Zach Randolph scored 17 points and had seven rebounds for Memphis. Mike Conley had 15 points and eight assists and Marc Gasol had 13 points for the Grizzlies, who outscored the Kings 36-20 in the third quarter to blow the game open.